Thursday, December 25, 2008
How fast time flies when one is busy, and how quickly the holidays come to fore. It was just Thanksgiving and now Yule is past and it is on to the New Year. My gift to you, my dear reader is this 'picture postcard' view of the canals in Naples California viewed from a Duffy boat (piloted by me). We took a two hour cruise around the bay and canals here in Long Beach, California in an adorable little electric Duffy boat on Christmas Eve, December 24th. The skies were a bit gray and there were a few raindrops but all in all it was a lovely day. A large bull seal followed us on our entire trip, he popped up from time to time next to our boat and gave us a smile each time. I never knew when he would show so I was unable to capture him on film. I understand now how hard it must be to get a photo of the Loch Ness Monster or Champ!
Warm and Yummy Wishes for the Season!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
2009 is looming on the horizon and I realized that I needed a new pocket organizer. Every year I go through this agonizing process. What kind do I want? How big do I need it to be? What style? What color? What do I want to look at for an entire year? Well, this year I decided to go handmade. Etsy to the rescue! I found just what I needed at Christina's Etsy shop. She has wonderful planners and many other items too. I love her fabric colors and choices. Her sewing is impeccable and my planner is just lovely. I have already put things in it...my favorite things first, like my knitting night out every week with my SnB friends! Thank you Christine for making my new 2009 pocket planner....it is delicious!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I adore shopping at the Japanese 98 cents store. I go there all the time! Now.... I am sad, because they are closing. I slumped about for weeks, I even shed a few tears. I went there one last time and bought up so much stuff!
In my sorrow I turned to the internet ... and low and behold, what do I find?
An online store that has all I could ever want and more! It is Ichiban Kan.
I am happy now...yipee, life can go on and I have a new supply of bento boxes and bento ... stuff.
Monday, November 10, 2008
just having some blogging fun. it is monday, it is a holiday, no work today. hhhmmmm, what shall i do, i say to myself. well, free time is web surfing time and look what i found... a 'cute monster' test. i couldn't say no.
i say it is pretty close. i do get caught up in things and forget to do .... stuff.
try it, it's cute and it's sweeeeet.
What Your Cute Monster Says About You
You are a deep, thoughtful, down to earth person. You don't put much stock in appearances.
You are never superficial or flippant. You take time in life to study, learn, and get to know people well.
You inner demon is laziness. You can get so caught up in your own world that you neglect everything around you.
People think you're cute because you're intelligent. Your wit and wisdom are charming.
i say it is pretty close. i do get caught up in things and forget to do .... stuff.
try it, it's cute and it's sweeeeet.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Here is my next movie purchase... wool 100%. An amazingly visual treat filled with wool, knitting, Japan, and deep metaphors on life and the female experience. I must be off to find this treasure, it looks delicious!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Oh the joys of computer ownership, the swift advance of technology and how quickly a beloved machine can become a boat anchor. I have been limping along my internet journey dragging behind me an 8 year old dinosaur...namely my computer, for some time now. I knew it's days were numbered though each day as I set out onto the internet highway it would still rouse itself from it's own internal dialog (it ran almost continuously) to follow me on my world wide web quests. Slowly my journey would go, gently and with much leisure. It would be so gracious as to allow me enough time to make a pot of tea while it loaded a file. Eventually I had enough time to cook an entire meal, until....the screen went black. Thank goodness that I live across the street from a fire department, they heard my screams and rushed right over with a tranquilizer gun and a net.
Fast forward to the next day. The dinosaur agreed to wake up, if not connected to the internet, long enough for me to download all of my photos and important files (knitting patterns) to an external hard drive...my family was spared, Huzzah!
I went into the computer store, got an employee and said "I have $600.00 and I need a computer, what is the best deal for that price?" I left with a new, highly evolved computer life-form, now all is well and we can sleep soundly once again. fin.
Here we have two photos, one of the dinosaur and one of the new godlike black box that tethers me to all that is good and wonderful. Oh the joys of computer ownership....sweeeet.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I don't really even know how to pronounce this word, but I made one! A cloche. A green cloche. A green cloche with a flower. A green cloche with a big purple flower. Crocheted. I like it quite a bit, though I will never wear it. Hats like this one just don't work in Southern California, especially right now, it is so hot! October is a strange weather month here. We have had such a mild summer that this late season heat is difficult for me to handle. I don't have air conditioning in my house, it was built in 1921 and at that time there were few homes here so the breeze from the ocean did not have to work so hard! I hope to get this little cloche up on my etsy site soon. Look for more of these darling toppers as I plan on making many of them, they are just yummy!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
You better believe it! It will soon be coming to America if all goes well. There is a car that runs on compressed air. Really, compressed AIR. It is called the 'CityCAT'. The only cost in gathering the fuel (air) is getting it into a compressed state. The air shoots out of the tank and runs the engine. Yup, air. The current version sold in India just won't cut it by America's safety standards so it is being modified for our roads. This modification (read; won't crumple into numerous fragments including occupants on impact) will create a heavier car so it will run on a hybrid mixture of air and gas, like our current electric/gas hybrids. The good new is it only takes about 8gal. of gas to go as far as an entire tank takes you now! Check out the website linked for more info on this amazing vehicle! ....a tasty treat for out streets.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
So I had to make a holiday gift item for the yarn shop I work at (only a day a week, and then teach a few classes in the eves). I thought and thought, hhhmmmm, what will I do? So many things came to mind, not to mention that I had just made a pair of wrist warmers for a double pointed knitting needle class that I am teaching this fall. So I took a look around the shop for color inspiration...then it hit me! Minnow Knits Merino, a new yarn that is very soft and comes in these outrageous candy colors. I decided to go with a Swedish theme and came up with this little (not really little) cowl/neck warmer! Isn't it adorable! You could use it as a childs skirt too I suppose. The drawstring keeps it from crumpling down so you can admire the lovely striped pattern. Speaking of the stripes....I used this stripe generator to help me out. I just love it! I can hardly wait to use it again. Oh goodness, my secret is out now, all of you getting knitted gifts from me this Yule be warned, they will be striped! Gotta love those candy stripes...eat em up!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Yesterday, August 25th, 2008, I went on a field trip with the day program that I teach at. We went to the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I have been there on several occasions, though not recently. We were able to take a guided tour and I actually learned a few things about the old Queen that I did not know. First, that she is TWICE the size of the Titanic....surprising! Also, that Winston Churchill had is own suite on board. She is indeed a glorious ship and I could just imagine the ocean wind on my face as she steamed across the Atlantic. They have done quite a few modifications to her that saddened me, closing in the covered decks on her starboard side, it took away some of her charm. The students loved the day out and we had lunch by the water watching the harbor cruise boats and pelicans come and go. Here are two photos, I forgot my camera but Vera Toth, another teacher at the program remembered hers (thanks Vera!). One is of the Queen Mary as you board and the other is a photo of the Long Beach skyline from the Queen's deck. It was a grand day with a Grand Lady and the views were....sweet.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
My dear friend Tamara, originally from California but now lives in an artists' collective in New York, NY, came for a visit. Tamara's visits are not usually just visits. They may be brief but she likes to add some spark to her arrival. One thing she is wont to do is performance art. Here we see dear Tamara doing her 'Pocket Lady' performance at the Long Beach Second Saturday Art Walk. She made her pocket skirt and tucked into each pocket a little work of her own art, some beads, beans, corn or who knows what in a bitty baggy and tied the pocket shut. She then approaches bystanders and asks if they want to make a wish. She tells them to think of a wish as she twirls around in front of them. They tell her when to stop and then choose a pocket to untie. They take their treasure and keep it to help them make their wishes come true. People just eat it up!
Monday, August 11, 2008
things were a little slow at my day job, teaching at Hope University. We had so many students taking
time off for the summer that I got to take off an extra day too! I decided to get a 'summer job' working in a yarn shop! Not just any yarn shop but a beautiful shop right on Alamitos Bay. Yes, cool ocean breezes, beautiful views of sailboats on the water and happy customers enjoying our Wednesday 'Knit & Cruise' boat trips. Here are a few photos of the shop and surrounding area. If you are ever in Long Beach you should stop in, the water is fine! Sunshine, ocean views and yarn...mmmmm, delicious!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Ah habu. I have again fallen under your spell. For over a year I have thought about this scarf. Looked longingly into my closet imagining it hanging there. On cool rainy days my hands have drifted to my neck in search of it. Summer day dreams wander to knit at it.
Now I have you! On my needles is that scarf. Oh joy! Oh bliss! My habu scarf is appearing as I merrily knit away. Stainless steel, silk and merino wool ...... ooooooh yes. delicious habu.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Oh look, I added a widget! If you have never been to etsy before, now is the time to go. Gas prices are high, time is at a premium, it's 1:00 a.m. and you are up so what the heck! Why take the time to drive all around town looking for that perfect gift. Not a gift card (impersonal), not from a big chain store (droll), but a one of a kind, handmade item. Now that's special! You can find something to fit just about any hobby or interest...yes you can...just use the 'search' feature, you will be amazed! Here are some of my sewing note cards. Send to someone who sews or use as a clever pun! (You can be very clever). Etsy....yummy!
Saturday, July 05, 2008
DAO! at wwww.bluepupae.com/blog/
Dear Dao won the contest and guessed the mystery vegetable. It is a kohlrabi! Big and split, but a kohlrabi non the less. If you visit her blog you will see that she is indeed a seasoned (hehehe) foodie. Her photos and descriptions of gastronomical delights are beautiful and luscious, you should check it out. I know she has a rockin' camera to take those great food shots and photos of the amazing things she knits. Oh, and her art....that is another story. Yes, Dao is an all around fantastic gal. So...what did she win you ask? Here are some photos of her prize. It is a 'key cozy'. Great for keeping keys and memory sticks, well, cozy! It is fun too, you pull up on the ball and the items go up into the bell. Pull them down and out they come! amazing you say? I want one too you say? You too can own one of these fantastic little items without having to deal with a vegetables identity crisis. Just hop on over to my etsy shop www.blackgingham.etsy.com and get one of your very own! Go on...grab a snack and go shopping on etsy. Fun, easy and delicious.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Oh, I had nothing much to do today...okay, that is not entirely true, there are many things I could be doing, laundry, washing dishes, cleaning out spare bedrooms, but instead I decided to fool around with my scanner. So I did! I made some line drawings, scanned them into my computer paint program and voila', I figured out how to color them in! I am so proud. Here are two of my learning projects. I guess I like the color of butter today. Now I need to find projects in which to use this wonderful new (to me) creative outlet. This is just delicious.
Friday, June 20, 2008
My summer garden is growing strong. I have Japanese cucumbers, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, basil and beets. But in amongst this bounty of summer lurked a last vestige of my winter garden....behold the Monster Vegetable! Left to grow to unencumbered by my watchful eye and hungry family it became a creature unto itself.
Now, if you can guess what vegetable it is, and are the first person to leave a comment with the correct answer ..... You Will Win A Prize! (a little taste from the buffet of my etsy shop, blackgingham.etsy.com)
So send in your guesses today and you could be the next big winner of.... "Name That Veg!"
eat that up...
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Well I am already planning my holiday (yes December/Yule) gifts. I have decided to provide everyone on my list with a environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags. I am hoping that if I get a jump on it now that by December I will be done and free of that last minute rush I so hate. I bought lots of fat quarters in patterns that I like (makes sewing more fun) and coordinating solids for the bottom half of the bag. I am hoping to add a little felt addition to the plain bottom to jazz it up a little. The book 'simple sewing' by Lotta Jansdotter (see photo) is beautiful. The bags (see photo) are the ones I plan to make. Now I have simple poly/cotton material, not the wonderful canvas and wools that she uses, as my pocket book is not that deep. I am hoping that the fabric will win the design over. I love this book! She has included many things for the kitchen, three totes, a sun/bucket style hat, a backpack and even a check book cover. So when I get some of my totes done I will show them to you. Oh, if you are on my Yule gift list...don't peek, and forget you read this post. Sewing! fun and delicious.
Friday, June 06, 2008
It is becoming summer here in Southern California so I looked to Japan for summer lunch ideas. Here we have....somen. Wonderful noodles, thin, light, easy, served cold and fast to cook (really, two minutes in boiling water!) I sprinkled them with some black sesame, sliced radish, a cherry blossom cucumber and chopped scallions. The little bottle holds ponzu, a soy type sauce with citrus flavors, just right for the somen. There is a tea dyed egg, little tomatoes, tangerine slices, snow peas, baby carrots, blueberries and more cucumber. This bento is not very big but it really holds a lot of food, all fresh, all delicious! eat it up!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Here they are....tah-dah! Baby sweater and booties to match. I love this color blue, not quite light blue, not quite baby blue, sort of a silvery blue hue. Add the nice white touches and it just looks so clean....yum!
Sunday, May 04, 2008
babies, babies, babies. I have knitted and crocheted 6 baby hats, 3 baby jackets, 4 pairs of booties, and one blanket. I still need to make more. There are so many people in my life having babies! Now don't get me wrong, I love babies! (especially with a bit of confectioners sugar and a spoon...kidding, really, though I have been known to nibble on a toe or cheek) But I am plum amazed at the current baby boom in my little universe. So here are some of the hats and soon to post sweaters and booties. If you covet them....hop on over to www.blackgingham.etsy.com and get one, or two! Babies are just plain yummy!
Friday, April 04, 2008
Here in Long Beach California you can find boats on the transit system. I just love that. My favorite is the Aqualink. I park my car at Alamitos Bay Landing (where there is a wonderful local yarn shop) and board the Aqualink. I then take it down the Long Beach coastline, one stop at the Queen Mary and then on to the Aquarium. Here you see my ocean buddy Mr. Malacari the giant squid looking at the Aqualink and it's Capitan. Next he is riding high on the bow and then looking out over the water, he likes to look at water but he is 'spot clean only'. I went with my two sons on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I did take my knitting but I must admit, I just cannot resist just staring at the ocean. It was delicious.
Monday, March 17, 2008
What would St. Patrick's day be without a bit o' the green.....especially if it's on a KILT! (check out that badger) I spent a weekend at the Irish Festival in Pomona and saw many a kilt. I share two with you. There was green beer, green hair, green tee-shirts and green ice cream. They even had green water in the fountains. Any Leprechaun would have felt right at home. So I say wish for you, a grand St.Patrick's day to 'ya all.....delicious.